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Cosmopolitan Las Vegas - Glitzy and Tawdry - Wordulator : Wordulator

Maybe this is exactly what the Cosmopolitan was going for — a 21 to 30 year-old stiletto-heeled and testosterone pumped crowd. While very average-looking tourists milled around the ground floor of the 100,000 square foot casino space, their numbers grew thinner with every floor as we rose up in glass elevators and escalators. Right above their heads were tight-dressed girls leaning over the balcony on upper floors, gazing through walls of chains of crystal hanging like glittery costume jewelry at a discount fashion store.
I expected more design, more elegance judging from the TV ads of that preceded the resort’s opening December 15 2010, but the first several floors of the Cosmopolitan were chopped up and lacking any flow although we felt more comfortable here than in the gaping City Center next door. Ironically Las Vegas has not implemented the sense of place that the same moguls of Sin City created in Macau’s opulent and more visitor friendly casino and resort spaces where a concierge-like attitude prevailed at every turn.
We did not visit any of the 2,995 rooms, some with terraces, some with mini-kitchens (I’d be hard pressed to cook during my stay in Vegas surrounded by countless restaurants). The Turkish-inspired spa is more my style as were the edgy fashions in the AllSaints boutique – a massive clothing store with a display of 500 stacked old sewing machines in the window – you can’t miss it.

Where does the Cosmopolitan shine? It’s massive, multi-level pool deck offering a sprawling view of the Las Vegas Strip. Though the evening was chilly during the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, space heaters and semi-private cabanas for two (all occupied by canoodling couples) gave us a taste of what would no doubt be a lush scene during warmer weather.
Sadly the pedestrian walkway over the strip stretching from the Cosmopolitan to Planet Hollywood has become a sitting space for Las Vegas’ homeless, a reminder that unemployment was 14.3% in November 2010. A gaggle of tipsy girls urged one of their group to squat next to one poor fellow shoving her thigh up against his face and posing for her friends’ flashing cameras. Their giggles merged with the hum of traffic as we continued on, wondering if they at least left him some money in exchange for humiliating him.
I’ve been going to Vegas for 25 years, at least once, often twice for trade shows like COMDEX and CES. With every year the city loses some of its sensibility and its edges grow harder, the greed deeper and the atmosphere more anxious. I’ll be happy when the economy is back on its feet and the air of desperation loosens. More places are gouging visitors with add-on “resort fees” – places like the Tuscany Suites hardly rated the extra $10 per day though I’d gladly pay for services a la carte.
We always enjoy the restaurants, the local shops, even cafes and delis where the waitress calls you hon’ and a cashier asks “where ya’ visiting from?” Our waiter and bartender at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris Hotel and Casino were as professional and enjoyable as they come. And our waiter the cafe at Spago’s in the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops was a pure delight, with his wry smile and just enough banter, making us feel like Vegas insiders. It’s that humor, reminding us that Vegas is one big spoof – take it seriously and you miss all the fun – that we hope will return in better times.
Will we be back? Of course. There’s nothing like Vegas and it continually changes. We look forward to seeing what’s next.

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Categories: Travel, Uncategorized

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